Daniel J. Fetterman, Chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Group and a former federal prosecutor, is recognized as one of the country’s leading trial and white collar lawyers. He represents corporations and individuals in significant white collar, securities, commercial, accounting and trade secret litigation. Chambers USA describes him as a “go-to litigator for high-profile individuals and institutions” and a “fantastic courtroom lawyer” who is “very strategic” and “held in high esteem.” Chambers USA also recognizes Dan as “a genuinely gifted trial lawyer” who is “well known for his expert defense of individuals and corporations” and for his “extensive expertise in complex litigation and white collar criminal defense.” The Legal 500 describes Dan as "an all star" who "understands strategic thinking in a client focused way," "sees the playing field in a way few others do," "is trustworthy and has the most effective manner" and "knows when to fight and when to compromise." The National Law Journal recognized Dan as a White Collar Trailblazer, a ranking honoring 50 of the country’s elite white collar lawyers for their “deep passion and perseverance... having achieved remarkable successes.” Dan is also recognized in Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America, among others, and is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America’s trial lawyer honorary society.
Dan has won numerous jury trials and successfully argued appeals in federal and state courts. He was lead trial counsel for MF Global Holdings in a highly-publicized $3 billion lawsuit against PwC, which settled during the third week of trial. He also tried a 17-month jury trial, the longest in Alabama history, which resulted in more than $100 million in jury verdicts. The Washington Post described the case as a “huge victory” in a “landmark” lawsuit. Dan represents clients in their most significant matters, including MF Global Holdings in multiple enforcement investigations following MF Global’s bankruptcy, Hilton Worldwide in civil litigation and a high-profile grand jury investigation relating to its alleged theft of trade secrets, the New York Jets in litigation over its attempt to build a stadium in Manhattan, and a consortium of private equity firms in connection with funding their $8.5 billion acquisition of Home Depot Supply. Dan has conducted numerous internal investigations on behalf of corporations, boards, and special committees concerning, among other things, alleged securities fraud, insider trading, sanctions, money laundering and FCPA violations, theft of trade secrets, accounting malfeasance and obstruction of justice.
Before joining Kasowitz, Dan was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York where he received the Justice Department Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney. Dan also co-edits and co-authors a highly-acclaimed white collar treatise, Defending Corporations and Individuals in Government Investigations. The treatise, which has been used in law school courses at Harvard and Yale, has been praised as a “must-have resource and reference for any lawyer involved in white collar matters,” and an “extraordinary contribution to the white collar bar.” Dan is frequently quoted as a legal authority and has been quoted in publications including The Wall Street Journal, International Financing Review, the FCPA Report and Compliance Week.
Dan also frequently speaks at industry conferences, including serving as co-chair and speaker at the “Defending Corporations and Individuals in Government Investigations” conference. He was a panelist on the Challenges in Cross-Border White Collar Criminal Investigations panel in Tokyo in 2019 and on the White Collar Investigation and Enforcement: A U.S./Canada Comparison on Recent Trends panel in Montreal in 2018 at the respective New York State Bar Association International Section conferences. He also has presented “Great and Not So Great Moments in Litigation,” at the American Law Institute’s 2017 Accountants’ Liability conference, as well as “The Emerging Law of Cybersecurity and Data Breach Liability” in Palo Alto, CA.
Dan has served as adjunct professor of law at Washington & Lee University School of Law and currently serves on its Alumni Law Council. He also is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Dan clerked for the Honorable Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Trials & Complex Litigation
Lead trial counsel for MF Global Holdings, a former global financial derivatives broker, in a $3 billion lawsuit against its outside auditor, PwC, which settled during trial. Also, representing MF Global Holdings in investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodities Future Trading Commission and the Plan Administrator for MF Global Holdings in various actions arising out of MF Global Holding’s bankruptcy.
- Former executives in a breach of contract action in federal court in New York against Nikko Asset Management and its CEO alleging a scheme to deprive the former employees of their rights under share appreciation rights plans. The CEO resigned shortly after Kasowitz filed papers describing the CEO’s conduct.
Hilton Worldwide in a civil action alleging trade secret misappropriation and other business torts brought by Starwood Hotels & Resorts. This highly complex case, described by the media as "Grishamesque," settled after approximately one year of discovery.
A Fairfield Greenwich Group founder in connection with the highly publicized multi-district litigation pending in the Southern District of New York and related state court actions arising out of the Madoff ponzi scheme. Fairfield Greenwich Group entities were the largest so-called “feeder funds” into Madoff.
Successful representation of a consortium of three well-known private equity firms (Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Clayton, Dubilier and Rice) in a multi-billion dollar dispute with major banks over acquisition financing for their $8.5 billion acquisition of Home Depot Supply - a deal that ultimately funded and was closed.
Co-lead trial counsel for Southern Union Company in a three-week jury trial over charges concerning Southern Union’s allegedly illegal storage of elemental mercury at its Pawtucket, Rhode Island, facility. While the company faced maximum penalties of $67 million, it only was sentenced to a $500,000 fine after the jury acquitted Southern Union of two out of three counts.
Lead trial counsel in successful jury trial on behalf of an investment bank in the Southern District of New York which resulted in a $1.5 million verdict.
Successful representation of hundreds of Vioxx plaintiffs. Dan also participated in mock jury trials of bellweather trials for other law firms to prepare several winning trial teams (including the Lanier Law Firm’s Ernst trial team which won $250 million). He taught a CLE with Mark Lanier and others on how to successfully try a Vioxx case to approximately 250 Vioxx lawyers from around the country.
Pro Bono representation of The Consumer Watchdog, a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing the interests of consumers, in its amicus curiae brief opposing federal court approval of the proposed class settlement of Authors Guild et al v. Google Inc., a putative class action charging Google with copyright infringement for scanning books and displaying them online.
White Collar Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations
- Corporate and individual defendants in a criminal securities fraud and SEC enforcement action in the Southern District of New York arising out of an alleged $100 million scheme to defraud investors relating to the resale of tickets for Hamilton and other Broadway shows and concerts.
- Successful representation of a major financial insurer in an insider trading investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Successful representation of a senior bank executive in connection with a government investigation concerning bond pricing and trading practices.
- Successful representation of an international manufacturing company executive in a FCPA investigation by the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Successful representation of a senior Merrill Lynch executive in an investigation before the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the financial crisis and in CDO litigation in the Southern District of New York.
- Successful defense of executives in the U.S. Foodservice/Royal Ahold investigation relating to the $800 million accounting fraud scandal. One of Dan’s clients was never charged and the other received six months of home confinement.
- The special committees of publicly traded companies, including video-game maker Take-Two Interactive Software and semiconductor manufacturer Emcore Corporation, in connection with internal investigations into potential stock option backdating.
- Successful defense of an executive who was the subject of the criminal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois into alleged corruption by Governor Blagojevich and his administration.
- Successful representation of mutual fund managers and operations personnel from Alliance Capital in investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General’s Office into the alleged market timing and late trading in those funds.
- Successful defense of a Port Captain in the grand jury investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York into the crash of the Staten Island Ferry, Andrew J. Barberi, on October 15, 2003. Dan’s client was the only one of the five publicly identified subjects at the Staten Island Ferry Service who was not indicted.
- Post-charge representation of the former CEO of Invesco in the highly publicized enforcement actions concerning market timing in mutual funds by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General’s Office.